I very naively thought I was done with making maternity clothes and I would coast through to the end with the handful of items I had. Well, our cold, late spring really deceived me and as soon as July started I realized I had nothing appropriate for the hot, hot days where we stick close to the house.
I’m still in a whole “I don’t want to make any more maternity clothes than necessary” so I figured a really simple swing-tank dress would work well now, but also work after the baby is born. I got two new lengths of knit from Fabrications as a little gift to myself for no other reason than I wanted new fabric. I grabbed 2.5 m of this teal hemp and organic cotton jersey and another 2.5 of this beautiful dusty rose rib knit.
My original plan was to put a button placket in both to facilitate nursing once I’ve had the baby, but that did not happen. I started with the pink rib because it was calling to me like no fabric has in a while (no offense, teal hemp!) and took my time experimenting with plackets to get the right size. I used both the Melly Sews tutorial and Closet Case sew-along to hack the Pony Tank Dress by Chalk and Notch. I found both tutorials really useful and recommend reading both if you plan on adding a button placket to a knit top. Melly’s tutorial is really helpful in understanding how a placket comes together. I really like the Closet Case tutorial because I found it a much cleaner finish. If you plan on adding a placket to this pattern, don’t forget to change the neckline to a rounder crew-neck instead of a V.
I used the placket pattern piece from the Closet Case Kalle after experimenting with a few other self-drafted versions. I shortened the placket by a few inches, but should have taken even more off as I find it sits a bit too low on my very pregnant belly right now. This might be, however, as a result of the stretchiness of the fabric. I also found the placket looks too wide on a tank top and would definitely make it narrower if I were to do it again. This would take completely re-drafting the pattern and I was not up for that, which is why I decided not to bother for the second dress. I was also approaching a need-it-right-now situation and just did the teal dress up as quickly as possible.
Even though the pink dress has the placket, I’m not sure I’ll wear it much after the baby is born. As I should have known, the fabric is quite stretchy and quite heavy and everything tends to pull down. I find the armholes way too big and the neckline way too low. I tried reinforcing the armholes with 3/8-inch clear elastic, but that didn’t really work. I also messed up a bit on the neckband and did not distribute the stretch evenly and so one end curls significantly. Of course I zig zagged everything down. Twice (with the elastic). So taking the bands off and re-doing them is basically impossible. Right now, I’m exploring the possibility of cutting them all off and replacing the bands with a much stronger (grey) jersey. This dress is currently at the bottom of my rotation and only comes out when I have literally nothing else to wear.
The simplified teal version, however, is the easiest thing to wear in my wardrobe and I really, really wish I made it earlier. I do, however, regret a bit that I didn’t put buttons on this top as I can totally see myself wearing this in the month or so after I give birth because it’s still going to be stinking hot. Ah well!
That said, the Pony Dress is pretty much the best thing ever if you are pregnant in the summer. Seriously. Easy to make. Easy to wear. Super breezy for the hot, hot days. Highly recommend!